This article was originally published in the summer 2013 Harker Quarterly.
Every spring the graduating class is inducted into the Harker Alumni Association during a special luncheon held in the Nichols Hall atrium. This year’s event, welcoming the Class of 2013, occurred at the end of May.
A highlight of the induction was the unveiling of the senior class gift, a monetary contribution of more than $9,000 to be used towards the installation and maintenance of the water filters and refilling stations located on the upper school campus.
Through class fundraising and their senior donations, the students rallied together to create a surplus of funds which was directed towards purchasing a bench in memory of Sandy Padgett. The bench will be the focal point of an outdoor classroom. A beloved and original member of the upper school faculty and founding director of Harker’s college counseling program, Padgett passed away on April 22.
A donation from the graduating class will also be made to The Sandy Padgett Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund, already established by Harker’s advancement department.
In addition to welcoming seniors as alumni and presenting class gifts, the induction lunch also provided an opportunity to announce the group’s class agents, provide seniors with a gift from the office (a laundry bag complete with instructions on how to use it) and the drafting of senior memories and “shout-outs.”
According to MaryEllis Deacon, director of alumni relations, bringing in the newest alumni class is all part of Harker’s “K through Life” approach. “The seniors are moving on but realizing we are always here for them, whether we visit their college or they come by to have lunch with a favorite teacher,” she said.